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Knee Pain Treatment & Specialist

In Allenwood, NJ

Avoid Surgery and Reduce Pain with

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Allenwood, NJ

Are you experiencing knee pain symptoms such as popping, clicking, bone-on-bone grinding, achiness, or sharp stabs? You're not alone in this journey. Knee pain affects nearly 25% of adults in the United States, causing discomfort, swelling, and chronic pain that can hinder everyday activities like childcare, walking, and exercise. Shockingly, recent statistics from The American Academy of Family Physicians indicate a 65% increase in diagnosed knee pain cases.

In a world where invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers are often the default solutions, it's crucial to explore the effective non-invasive options that are available. These alternative treatments provide relief without the associated risks of surgery.

Today, many doctors still recommend invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers rather than exploring non-invasive options. While those treatments are needed in some circumstances, there are alternative treatments available that can help you overcome knee pain without needing to go under the knife.

NJ Sports Spine and Wellness' advanced knee pain treatment in Allenwood, NJ gives men and women suffering from knee pain hope. Instead of relying on surgery, our team of doctors and physical therapists use non-invasive, highly effective treatments to help heal prevalent conditions such as:

Service Areas

Arthritis

Soft tissue injury

ACL tears

MCL tears

Patella dislocation

Misalignment of the kneecap

Patella tendonitis

Jumper's knee

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Knee

With the right treatment,

many people can reduce their pain and improve their function, allowing them to return to normal daily activities. Plus, by taking preventative measures and seeking prompt care from our team, it's possible to reduce your risk of developing chronic knee pain and other painful knee conditions. If you've been searching for a non-invasive way to eliminate knee pain and get back to an active life, your journey to recovery starts here.

Let's take a closer look at some of the knee pain treatments available at NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, which all serve as great alternatives to knee replacement surgery.

Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health with Conservative Care

The field of Physical Therapy (PT) aims to rehabilitate individuals who have experienced injury, illness, or disability by restoring their mobility and function. Physical therapists cater to patients of various ages and capabilities, ranging from young athletes to senior citizens, in order to help them surpass physical limitations and improve their standard of living with advanced knee pain treatment in Allenwood, NJ.

At NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, our physical therapy program was founded on a patient-centric philosophy, where physical therapists work closely with patients to get a deep understanding of their goals, preferences, and capabilities. In doing so, they can create a tailor-made treatment strategy to address their unique knee pain with the goal of avoiding a knee replacement. Treatment may involve exercises that are therapeutic in nature and can include:

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization using cupping
  • Graston technique
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of associated muscle groups

Joint Mobilization for Knee Pain

This unique knee pain solution involves physical therapists using skilled manual therapy techniques to help improve your joint range of motion while simultaneously reducing your knee pain.

During joint mobilization, a physical therapist applies targeted pressures or forces to a joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. The intensity of the force applied can vary, and it is adjusted based on the patient's comfort level. Joint mobilization is generally pain-free.

STM

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft Tissue Mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves stretching and applying deep pressure to rigid muscle tissue. This helps to relax muscle tension and move fluids that are trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. This effective form of physical therapy is often used as an advanced knee pain treatment in Allenwood, NJ for treating knee strains, knee sprains, knee pain, and more.

Graston

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique involves the use of handheld instruments to identify and break up scar tissue through specialized massage. During a Graston Technique session, physical therapists use convex and concave tools for cross-friction massage, which involves rubbing or brushing against the grain of the scar tissue. This process re-introduces small amounts of trauma to the affected area. In some cases, this process temporarily causes inflammation, which can actually boost the amount and rate of blood flow in the knee. This process helps initiate and promote the healing process so you can get back to a normal life.

Massage

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a less intense form of massage than it's deep-tissue relative. Instead of focusing on slow and firm strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and tissues, this massage technique uses a variety of pressures, depths, and durations. Soft tissue massage is helpful in alleviating different types of knee aches, pains, and injuries. Soft tissue massages can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Advanced Mechanics and Technology:

The Future of Knee Pain Therapy

While knee pain is a common symptom that affects millions of Americans every year, no two cases of knee pain are ever exactly alike. Some types of knee injuries require non-traditional solutions. At New Jersey Sports Spine and Wellness, we offer a range of treatments that leverage mechanics and technology to help patients recover from injuries while treating inflammation and pain as well as resolve the root cause of the pain.

AlterAlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is equipped with NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a precise air calibration system that uses the user's actual body weight to enhance rehabilitation and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows patients and athletes to move without any pain or restrictions.

This advanced knee pain treatment in Allenwood, NJ uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight up to 80% in precise 1% increments. The results can be incredible, with patients reporting benefits such as:

  • Restoring and building of knee strength
  • Restored range of motion in the knee
  • Better balance
  • Improved knee function
  • More

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective?

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill can monitor various metrics such as speed, gait pattern, stride length, and weight distribution. With real-time feedback and video monitoring, your rehabilitation team can promptly and accurately identify issues and pain points or monitor your progress throughout your knee pain rehabilitation journey.

One of the key benefits of this cutting-edge equipment is that it replicates natural walking and movement patterns without the artificial feel that hydrotherapy or harnesses create. This makes it an excellent choice for faster recovery after knee injuries or surgeries, as it allows for early mobilization while also preserving strength. Furthermore, it is ideal for sports recovery as athletes can use it for physical conditioning maintenance.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Allenwood, NJ
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Allenwood, NJ

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Our advanced treatment modalities for knee pain include laser therapy, which harnesses the revolutionary power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM). LiteCureâ„¢ low-level laser therapy is available for acute and chronic types of knee pain and can be hugely beneficial when coupled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and sports recovery care.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

PBM is a medical treatment that harnesses the power of light to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. The photons from the light penetrate deep into the tissue and interact with mitochondria, which results in a boost in energy production. This interaction sets off a biological chain reaction that increases cellular metabolism. Utilizing low-level light therapy has been shown to:

  • Alleviate knee pain
  • Speed up tissue healing
  • Promote overall health and wellness
  • Expedite knee pain injury recovery
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Allenwood, NJ

Exclusive Access to

Pain Management Professionals

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we know that every patient requires a personalized approach to chronic knee pain and condition management. Sometimes, our patients need access to pain management professionals, who can offer relief in conjunction with physical therapy and other solutions like low-level laser therapy.

Two of the most common services we offer for pain management includes acupuncture which can assist in avoiding knee replacement surgery.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Allenwood, NJ

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Allenwood, NJ

What Happens During Acupuncture Therapy for Knee Pain?

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Allenwood, NJ

Is Acupuncture Actually Effective for Knee Pain?

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Avoid Knee Replacements with Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Allenwood, NJ

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Allenwood, NJ

When it comes to knee pain therapies and treatments, getting a knee replacement should be last on your list. Why put your body through such trauma if you haven't tried other non-invasive treatment options? Whether you're an athlete trying to work through a knee injury or you're over 65 and are dealing with osteoarthritis, NJ Sports Spine and Wellness can help.

It all starts with an introductory consultation at our office in Matawan or Marlboro. During your first visit, we'll talk to you about your knee pain symptoms, the goals you have in mind, and the advanced knee pain treatments available to you at our practice. From there, it's only a matter of time before you get back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Every day you wait can worsen your knee condition. Contact us today and let our team help get you on the road to recovery and life with painful knees.

Latest News in Allenwood, NJ

The 23 New Jersey places you need to visit in 2023

New Jersey may be the most hated state, the most mocked and maligned in all the land, but in my mind, no state contains such diversity and wonder in such a compact package. There are at least 50 great reasons to live in New Jersey. We have it all here — hills, valleys, lakes, woods, beaches. And, contrary to the impression you get driving on the Parkway north of the Union tolls, we have oodles of open sp...

New Jersey may be the most hated state, the most mocked and maligned in all the land, but in my mind, no state contains such diversity and wonder in such a compact package. There are at least 50 great reasons to live in New Jersey. We have it all here — hills, valleys, lakes, woods, beaches. And, contrary to the impression you get driving on the Parkway north of the Union tolls, we have oodles of open space.

Which brings me to this list of 23 places you must visit in 2023. I did similar lists in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, but this one is all-new. You won’t find many of these places on tourism websites. Some of them are downright quirky. They’re all well worth a visit. Time to broaden your Jersey horizons!

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Feds oppose millionaire NJ child sex offender's early prison release

New Jersey's United States Attorney's Office is opposing the early release of Steven Bradley Mell, the Bedminster millionaire serving time in federal prison for having sex with a teen in his plane while it was on autopilot.Mell has asked a federal court judge for a second time to release him from the minimum-security Allenwood Federal Prison in White Deer, Pennsylvania, where he is serving a seven-year sentence, because he is afraid he may catch COVID-19 from a fellow inmate and that may lead to serious medical complica...

New Jersey's United States Attorney's Office is opposing the early release of Steven Bradley Mell, the Bedminster millionaire serving time in federal prison for having sex with a teen in his plane while it was on autopilot.

Mell has asked a federal court judge for a second time to release him from the minimum-security Allenwood Federal Prison in White Deer, Pennsylvania, where he is serving a seven-year sentence, because he is afraid he may catch COVID-19 from a fellow inmate and that may lead to serious medical complications because he has Crohn's disease and primary sclerosng cholangtis, a liver disease.

Richard Levitt, Mell's new attorney, has filed papers in federal court asking for the release because of Mell's health conditions. Those papers are sealed because they contain personal health information.

But in an Oct. 14 letter responding to the request, Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia Astorga argues that Mell "has again failed to establish any basis for the court to grant his motion for compassionate release."

In her response, Astorga reveals that the teen was not Mell's first or only victim. Mell's abuse of a second minor victim, whose age was redacted, involved sex acts as well as sexually explicit images.

"Mell's conduct," Astorga wrote, "was not a mistake or an accident, but reflected a pattern of sexual abuse of minors."

Even if Mell were able to meet the "extraordinary and compelling reasons" to justify an early reason, Mell continues to pose a danger to the victim and the community, Astorga argues.

EARLIER: Stephen Bradley Mell, millionaire child sex offender, seeks prison release due to COVID-19 risk

EARLIER: Stephen Mell sentenced to 3 years in prison for sex with minor in Readington, Bedminster

READ:Millionaire faces sentencing for sex with teen on private airplane on autopilot

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled "the mere existence of COVID-19 in society and the possibility that it may spread to a particular prison alone cannot independently justify compassionate release," Astorga cites.

In response to Mell's suggestion that he be held in house confinement in Somerset County, Astorga contends that Mell "appears less likely to contract COVID-19 at Allenwood than if he were released in New Jersey."

There are no current COVID-19 cases at Allenwood and only one case has been recorded at the central Pennsylvania facility and the inmate has recovered. In contrast, Astorga said, there has been more than 6,000 COVID-19 cases and 510 deaths in Somerset County.

Astorga also noted that of the 125 federal inmate deaths attributed to COVID-19, four have occurred while on home confinement.

"Even the home confinement that Mell requests does not guarantee his protection from COVID-19," she wrote.

Mell, 55, was sentenced to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty in June 2019 to charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and coercion or enticement of a minor female.

In 2017, Mell began communicating with the 15-year-old through text messages and Snapchat. Communications between Mell and the minor soon became sexual when Mell asked the girl “if she knew how to perform oral sex.”

On July 20, 2017, Mell flew with her in his private plane from Somerset Airport to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, “for the purpose of engaging in illicit conduct, specifically, a sexual act with a person under the age of 18," according to the federal charges. On the flight back, Mell put the aircraft in autopilot mode and "engaged in sex acts" with the minor, the complaint says.

Before he pleaded guilty, Mell, who was a principal in a brokerage firm, lived on a 50-acre estate in an exclusive corner of Bedminster that had a six-bedroom house, a swimming pool and a helipad. A licensed pilot, the millionaire owned airplanes and helicopters, in addition to luxury cars, including an Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari. He also had a 25-foot boat named “Get Nauti.”

But his lifestyle at Allenwood is not as lavish. According to his motion for "compassionate release," Mell shares an 8-by-10-foot "cube" with two other men. There are 360 men housed in the low-security dormitory, the motion says, with only four toilets, four sinks and six showers that has "no social distancing opportunities and little opportunity to effectuate hand-washing."

If he contracts COVID-19, the motion contends, Mell would be "at higher risk of suffering severe illness" because of his preexisting conditions.

Mell, who serves as a financial literacy instructor at the prison, would reside at the home of a friend in Bedminster, the motion for his release states. He would also obtain employment as an analyst with an investment firm owned by a friend.

Email: mdeak@mycentraljersey.com

Mike Deak is a reporter for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

The Best Places for Taylor Ham/Pork Roll in New Jersey

Nothing quite says Jersey, food-wise, like pork roll (or Taylor ham, as it’s known in North Jersey): a lightly smoked and cured pork product, akin to Canadian bacon. A pork roll, egg, and cheese is the unofficial state sandwich. The obsession goes so far, there are even two festivals in Trenton devoted to pork roll (there was a third, devoted to veggie pork roll, but that didn’t last long).While South and Nort...

Nothing quite says Jersey, food-wise, like pork roll (or Taylor ham, as it’s known in North Jersey): a lightly smoked and cured pork product, akin to Canadian bacon. A pork roll, egg, and cheese is the unofficial state sandwich. The obsession goes so far, there are even two festivals in Trenton devoted to pork roll (there was a third, devoted to veggie pork roll, but that didn’t last long).

While South and North Jerseyans may disagree on its name, everyone in the state can agree on one thing: a Taylor ham/pork roll, egg, and cheese reigns supreme for breakfast. These are the 13 best places to get Jersey’s most iconic sandwich (in each case, we’ve used “Taylor ham’’ or “pork roll,” depending on what each place calls it).

The Summit Diner

Summit

If an out-of-stater asks which Jersey diner they absolutely have to go to, the answer is always the Summit Diner: a barrel-roofed, wooden-boothed wonder in the center of town. The grill is right up front, and you can see and smell your food cooking. While in most places, “sliders’’ are miniature burgers, here they’re Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches, with plenty of grease and cheese oozing from the hard roll.

The Committed Pig

Morristown

The Pig makes excellent burgers, but don’t let that distract you from its pork roll sandwiches. At $12-$15, they’re a bit pricer than others in the state, but they’re loaded enough to make it well worth your money. The appropriately named Kitchen Sinker packs extra pork roll, extra American cheese, plus fried egg, bacon, and avocado into a nicely toasted brioche bun (be sure to order the sweet potato fries as your included side).

Allenwood General Store

Wall Township

Don’t be thrown off by the hodgepodge of antiques, signs, magazines, and assorted stuff for sale (1940 dentist’s drill, anyone?); the Allenwood General Store is very much a breakfast spot, and it goes through pork roll like diners go through coffee. Check out the massive 6-pound logs of pork roll in the display case, then sit down and see if the self-proclaimed “world’s best pork roll sandwich’’ lives up to its name. It’s certainly one of the state’s best, with perfectly grilled thin slices on a Kaiser roll.

Fredon Deli

Fredon

Near the top of the state is this barebones strip-mall deli, owned by the same people as Kathy’s Restaurant and the Fredon Dairy next door. Sussex County is known for its farms, which is why the sandwich here features some of the freshest-tasting eggs you’ll find on a Taylor ham/pork roll sandwich.

Hoagitos

Asbury Park & Belmar

At its boardwalk stand in Asbury Park and a storefront in Belmar, Hoagitos offers creative twists on classic sandwiches, so it’s no surprise its egg and cheese, with choice of pork roll, bacon, or sausage, is a standout. It’s all about the bread here -- chewy, first-rate rolls with just the right amount of give.

Shut Up and Eat!

Toms River

There’s plenty to love about this Toms River diner, from the name, to the kitschy decor (signs, license plates, Hula-Hoops, sleds), to the fact that the waitresses wear pajamas. But beyond all that, it’s also home to some of the state’s heartiest country breakfasts. You can get a regular pork roll sandwich here, but you’ll want to go for the heavy-loaded Shut Up and Eat! sandwich: bacon, pork roll, sausage, ham, egg, and cheese on a hard roll with a side of potatoes.

Bagel Chateau

Westfield

Jerseyans love their Taylor ham/pork roll on a bagel almost as much as on a hard roll. For the best take on the bagel variety, head to Bagel Chateau, which goes through 100-plus pounds of Taylor ham every week. The sandwich here features thinly sliced and crispy meat and plenty of gooey cheese. If you're the type who thinks a Taylor ham/pork roll sandwich belongs only on a roll, you’re about to have your breakfast-meat world upended.

Johnny’s Pork Roll Truck

Asbury Park

Johnny Yarusi, owner of the Johnny's Pork Roll truck, may be the state's most enthusiastic pork roll ambassador. "Like everybody in Jersey, I grew up eating pork roll,'' Yarusi told host David Infante in a Thrillist Food/Groups video. "It's who we are.'' Here, you'll find the usual pork roll, egg, and cheese on a hard roll, but there’s also a bevy of over-the-top twists, like the Hawaiian (pork roll, pineapple, Swiss, Sriracha), the Western (pork roll, provolone, sautéed peppers, and onions).

White Rose Diner

Linden

Not to be confused with the White Rose System in nearby Roselle, the White Rose is a classic ‘60s diner in an industrial section of Linden Menu where menu items are written on multi-colored construction paper, and you can always find owner Rich Belfer behind the grill. The meat used here is Goodie pork roll, made by the OG Taylor ham producers. It's cut thin, and served on a soft Kaiser roll.

Frank’s Deli

Asbury Park

A Jersey Shore landmark, Frank's is not much to look at -- faded blue facade, time-worn booths, and stools in a luncheonette atmosphere -- but it packs in crowds on the weekends, mainly for its pork roll sandwich, which may be the state's biggest: a fat, meaty behemoth that’s likely to make lunch -- and dinner -- an afterthought.

Olde Towne Deli

Boonton

Don't be fooled by the spare, spartan surroundings; this small-town deli serves up a terrific Taylor ham sandwich, using Thumann's Jersey Made pork roll (which the owner considers less greasy than traditional Taylor ham). The meat gets grilled until perfectly crispy and topped with fresh eggs and cheese on a crusty roll.

Slater’s Deli

Leonardo (Middletown)

Visit Slater's web site, and the first thing you'll see is a pork roll sandwich -- that’s because it’s the menu item it’s been known for since day one. The sandwiches here are seriously stuffed, with thick slices of meat, yolky eggs, and cheese dripping off like molten yellow lava.

Crossroads Diner

White Township (Warren County)

While you’ll find pork roll on the menu at just about every diner the state, the one at Crossroads, at the junction of Routes 46 and 519, stands out simply for how hefty it is. Pop some quarters in the jukebox (everyone from Adam Ant to George Strait) and enjoy the great retro atmosphere with Jersey's version of the breakfast of champions.

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Peter Genovese is a food writer for nj.com and the author of 10 books, including Jersey Diners and Pizza City: The Ultimate Guide to New York’s Favorite Food. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Route 138 in Wall Township reopened after early morning car fire, motor vehicle crash

Wall Township, NJ – Route 138 eastbound and Allenwood Road were closed earlier today due to a multi-vehicle crash with injuries and a car fire. Police, fire, and EMS were on the scene, and drivers were advised to plan an alternate route.However, as of the latest update, Route 138 in the area of Allenwood Road has been reopened to traffic. The road closure caused significant delays and inconvenience for drivers in the area, but authorities have now cleared the scene.Drivers are still urged to exercise caution and stay aler...

Wall Township, NJ – Route 138 eastbound and Allenwood Road were closed earlier today due to a multi-vehicle crash with injuries and a car fire. Police, fire, and EMS were on the scene, and drivers were advised to plan an alternate route.

However, as of the latest update, Route 138 in the area of Allenwood Road has been reopened to traffic. The road closure caused significant delays and inconvenience for drivers in the area, but authorities have now cleared the scene.

Drivers are still urged to exercise caution and stay alert while passing through the area, as there may be residual traffic congestion or emergency vehicles on the side of the road. Authorities have not released any further details about the crash or injuries sustained by those involved.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller were among the officials who marked National Work Zone Awareness Week yesterday. During the event, Governor Moore announced the creation of a Maryland Work Zone Safety Work Group, which will study increased protection for highway workers. Lt. Governor Miller will chair the group.

Governor Moore also proclaimed April 19 as “Go Orange and Highway Worker Appreciation Day.” This recognition is aimed at highlighting the everyday dedication of roadway workers and raising awareness of the importance of driver safety in highway work zones.

“As we build an efficient and equitable transportation network, all Marylanders need to do their part to make sure the men and women doing the work are safe,” said Gov. Moore. “We must prioritize safety over speed, which is why I’m announcing the formation of a highway work zone safety work group to develop tangible solutions to protect workers, drivers and passengers.”

Related News: Traffic Alert: Major Accident Causes Closure at Church and Todd Roads in Toms River

The governor emphasized the need for all Marylanders to prioritize safety over speed when traveling through work zones. With over 1,000 workers involved in more than 300 highway construction, maintenance, and utility projects across the state, officials urged drivers to slow down, move over when possible, and pay close attention in work zones.

National Work Zone Awareness Week, which runs from April 17-21, is a national campaign aimed at promoting work zone safety and reducing the number of accidents and fatalities in construction and maintenance areas. Maryland’s efforts to improve work zone safety align with this year’s theme, “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.”

Old-fashioned general stores still thrive in corners of the Garden State

Jerry McCrea/The Star LedgerGeneral stores — misshapen and musty, cobwebs hanging everywhere, or at least that’s how many people perceive them — sound and look so archaic. You wonder why modern convenience stores — better stocked, better lit, more accessible — didn’t run them out of the neighborhood years ago.At the sprawling new Quick Cheks and Wawas, you can buy breakfast, lunch and dinner, fill up the car, use the ATM — just about around the clock.The general store soldiers on...

Jerry McCrea/The Star Ledger

General stores — misshapen and musty, cobwebs hanging everywhere, or at least that’s how many people perceive them — sound and look so archaic. You wonder why modern convenience stores — better stocked, better lit, more accessible — didn’t run them out of the neighborhood years ago.

At the sprawling new Quick Cheks and Wawas, you can buy breakfast, lunch and dinner, fill up the car, use the ATM — just about around the clock.

The general store soldiers on, all squeaky floors and sagging ceilings and limited stock.

In dozens of towns and hamlets across the state, particularly in Sussex, Warren and Hunterdon counties, the general store is the main business, the center of commerce and attention. It’s the best place to catch up on local news and gossip; in several towns, it serves as the local post office.

Not all general stores live up to the name; some have been painted over and gussied up and turned into delis and pizzerias. But at least three retain their old-timey flavor: the Old Stillwater General Store in Stillwater, Rambo’s Country Store in Califon and the Allenwood General Store in Wall.

The first, opened in 1876, is the state’s longest-running general store. The second is a hardwood-floored, high-ceilinged local hangout known for its meats. And the third is a breakfast/lunch spot with mix-and-match tables and chairs and a weirdly compelling assortment of antiques, artifacts and junk for sale.

Need a bee’s nest — minus the bees, of course — for that ultimate home decorating statement? What Jersey general stores lack in convenience, they more than make up in originality — and history.

Carving out a niche

No, the owner of Rambo’s Country Store does not wear a blood-soaked bandanna in honor of Sylvester Stallone’s mercenary movie hero.

But Don Freibergs can offer you fresh-ground beef, homemade salads and some Fartless Chili Makins’.

Wait, the latter is not for sale; it’s among the vintage products and signs on display at Rambo’s, part general store, part museum of vintage Americana. There are boxes and containers of Mother’s Oats and Knox Unflavored Gelatine and Bull Durham Tobacco. Washboards. A massive roll-top desk. A sign reading, “Customers must weigh before and after eating.” And a rusted but splendid BPS (Best Paint Sold) clock that keeps on ticking, just like this general store.

Abraham Philhower opened the store in 1888; the Rambo family took it over in 1952, and Freibergs, who started working here as a stock boy when he was 13, bought it in 1998. It’s spacious and well-stocked; the potato chip selection alone dwarfs the entire inventory at its Stillwater counterpart.

Maybe some of the store’s old-time values are rubbing off on the younger generation; when Freibergs’ teenage son, Andrew, walks in the back door, he is munching not on salty snacks but a piece of cabbage.

Andrew helps his father at the store, which, the 43-year-old Freibergs says, teaches him “a good work ethic, which is missing today.”

With an A&P nearby, Freibergs needed to carve out his own niche, and did it by offering soups, sandwiches, pot pies and maintaining a butcher’s shop. He sells 30 to 40 rib-eye steaks a week, roasts his own roast beef, and will go through 300 turkeys this Thanksgiving.

Jerry McCrea/The Star Ledger

The hardwood floors, white walls, roll-top desk and cast-iron stove convey an ageless and innocent charm, but upstairs is where you truly feel, almost smell, the history. Freibergs is chairman of the local historical society, and several artifacts, including a soapbox derby racer and voting booth, are kept for safekeeping in the small auditorium, which would make a marvelous movie theater. Nothing up there is for sale, but downstairs? Make an offer.

“Nothing is not ever not for sale,” Freibergs says cagily.

In a bookcase on the porch is a more or less unbeatable offer. Every episode of “Mash.” On videotape. Fifty bucks.

Junk for sale

There’s only one place in Jersey where can you get “the world’s best pork roll sandwich” and a perfectly good bombsight.

“If it’s not here,” says the irrepressible Jeff Herbert, owner of the Allenwood General Store in Wall, “you don’t need it.”

There’s a 1940s-vintage dentist’s drill, its creepy metal arm and various dials and doodads making it seem more like a torture device than a medical instrument.

“This is no museum,” a sign reads. “This junk is for sale.”

The store, minutes from the beach, somehow manages to be a bustling breakfast spot/deli; community hangout; a French chocolate shop (Pierre Chocolat, in back) and a yard sale run amok. There are beehives, oxen yokes, horseshoes that enabled horses to tread on ice, one barbershop pole, a deer head, two airplane propellers, cans of Gloss-It Miracle Liquid and containers of Kex Spackling Compound, rotary phones, dinner plates etched with angry-looking grizzly bears, and that asparagus buncher you’ve been looking for.

The April 24, 1912, issue of the Breeder’s Gazette? It’s here.

A karate practice dummy? Please.

The store can be traced to the 1850s, when it was located 100 yards up the road. John and June Herbert, Jeff’s parents, opened the current location in 1972. John is mostly responsible for the antiques/junk/what-have-you; much of it came from auctions and sales in New England.

The store’s eccentricity even translates to the menu; burgers are $2.50; pickle, cheese and tomato are extra.

Jeff Herbert caught some grief for adding a snazzy menu board, but he knows enough not to mess with success, no matter how cluttered it looks. He’d like to add an old-fashioned ice cream shop in back.

The general store might be the best place around to find an electrician, landscaper, contractor, mason, plumber and so on; tradesmen are always in and out of here as customers.

“Whatever you need done in your life, you can find here,” Herbert says. “Give me a day, I’ll find someone I can recommend to you.”

Neighborly love

The American flag snaps in the mid-morning breeze above a rusty red Fire Chief gas pump long out of service. Inside the Old Stillwater General Store on Main Street in Stillwater, owner Joe Van Valkenburg talks to store regular Roger Castner, co-owner of nearby Castner Sawmill.

“It’s where the locals meet, exchange stories,” Castner says.

He eats lunch here every day, a different sandwich each time. The old-timers call the store Garris’ after longtime owners Harold and Doris Garris. George Dallas Garris, Harold’s grandfather, used his mustering-out pay from the Civil War to open the store in 1871, across the street from where it is today. By 1937, George Dallas Garris, then in his 90s, was the oldest living grocer in the state, according to one account.

Van Valkenburg, a former bartender and printing company manager, took over the store six years ago. The store opens at 6 a.m., and he routinely puts in 15-hour days.

Eat here and pick up your mail. There are 269 boxes; the fee is $44 a year. Around a corner is a town bulletin board filled with items for sale and business cards: knife sharpener, firewood, certified luthier, decorative concrete, the Snake Oil Willie Band.

The entire canned goods section fits on one wooden shelf. There are three cans of Silver Floss sauerkraut, three bottles of Ragu sauce, three jars of Skippy peanut butter, three cans of Maxwell House coffee — detect a pattern here? The health and beauty section, such as it is, consists of ChapStick, Tylenol, Advil and Imodium. There are 50-plus plastic duckies on a shelf; a local pastor gave Van Valkenburg several for his 50th birthday, and pretty soon everyone was dropping off a ducky for the owner’s “collection.”

The menu is not just buttered rolls and pastries wrapped in plastic; you can get filet of flounder, chicken cordon bleu, fettuccine Alfredo and “buckaroo burgers” — sliders modeled after the ones at White Manna in Hackensack that Van Valkenburg fondly remembers from his childhood.

The formidable dining table at the window was built by local carpenter Bob Vendetti; he stopped in one day and told Van Valkenburg he would build him a table, and fix the screen door. For free. Other customers plow the lot in the winter or drop off bales of hay for store displays — no charge.

Does it surprise Van Valkenburg that people up here are so helpful?

“In the beginning,” the Dumont native says. “Not anymore.”

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